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The Pride of Salem, a winning tradition

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    The 11th annual Knights Crossing cross country meet was held Saturday at Green Hill Park in Salem. The Blacksburg Girls looked strong as always in the event held by Cave Spring High School. The 4th ranked team in the nation took the Girls Team Title in the Girls Red 5k. E.C. Glass sophomore Libby Davidson took first place overall in the event. She set the course record, running a 17:36.7 minute mile.

     For the kids in the Salem marching band making music is a way of life putting on big shows under those Friday night lights is what they're known for.
A reputation that's long been in the making


"We've been known as the Pride of Salem since 1969 and every year we try our best to keep the tradition going," Chris Wilkes, the band director said.

 Prepping for the season these young musicians practice just as much as the football team. They start in July and keep on marching through December.

"I wait all year for marching season. it's a big part of my life and i love every bit of it," one band member said.

And they probably get about as much exercise as the football time just by being in the stands. They are constantly moving and dancing to the beat.

     For senior drum major Taylor Barker. playing for the Pride of Salem is more than performing;it's family

"We are really just such a family," Barker said..

"To be apart of it is just amazing. i mean it's one hundred and eleven kids who come from different places and its just amazing. it brings us all together and we really become a family because we spend so much time practicing and playing together."

 And that shows on the field. No one misses a beat as they march in unison.

A discipline that has earned them two state titles and countless trophies, as they are one of the top bands in Virginia.

 Leading the band for 12 years now Chris wilkes says despite the prestige they've earned it all comes down to making music.

 

"For us it's not about the trophies we win. we tell the kids every year that's its just about doing the best performance they can do every night.

 Its those crowd pleasing performances that keep these musicians the pride of Salem.

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